A Counter-Cultural take on the Issue of Nutritional Supplementation

From a traditional standpoint, men have normally been associated with the attributes (or burdens) of strength, leadership, virility, aggression and dynamism; with their very masculinity often hinged on the public exhibition of the said ‘necessary virtues’ (or as Plato might refer to them).

Women, on the contrary, have been celebrated on account of their complementary submission to the domineering male figure, and their emphatic willingness to cater to all of his functional needs. These perennial understandings of ‘what constitutes masculinity and femininity’ have been bolstered institutionally (and further rigidly defined) through the historical affectations on social consciences wrought by the religious, tribal and cultural codes specific to various communities.

From the perspective of Gender Studies, where all the known genders are academically analyzed along a fluid spectrum of socially constructed (and not ‘natural’) identities, the artificial nature of inherited identity formulations is often vigorously debated over; with many academics bent upon disseminating the results of their original research endeavors into the said discipline to the generally unwitting public (which normally chooses to take sociological issues as they come, without bothering to dispense much critical inquiry towards any effort of deconstructing – and subsequently – re-engineering them).

The overwhelming majority of men and women, already made weary of the sociocultural milieu in which they exist, spend most of their lives in conforming to the stereotypical notions of ‘proper behavior’ and ‘rightful conduct’ – with the members of their opposite gender(s) often coming in to ‘correct’ them if they should happen to stray from the ‘long established’ track. The predicament of the contemporary man has to be understood within this context.

It is only in starting our inquiry from this initial premises of historical considerations that we can begin to understand (and empathize with) why many men and women nowadays are resorting to a variety of health supplements – which continue to be marketed with an astonishing tirade of narrative-fixing sales pitches that further reinforce the decadent status-quo of gender dynamics. A choice Internet plan, like the one made available from the Charter Spectrum Customer Service Number subscription service, can prove to be very useful in analyzing the literary source material on this subject.

Media/Commercial Interests as a Determinative Factor in Driving Sales

This trend is discernible in men and women of all ages (leaving only the pre-adolescent public demographic that may be considered untainted from the wholesale use of health supplements that are particularly tailored to enhance certain gender-specific traits).

The nutritional products most popularly sold in this category include a range of multivitamins enhanced with certain minerals and essential substances like zinc and Omega-3 Fatty Acids (vital nutrients required to increase sperm count, testosterone-secretion and motility in men – as well as to promote secondary sexual characteristics within women).

Oftentimes, the mass media (which includes the information, and intrinsically propaganda-ridden, dissemination channels of television and the internet) proves to be the driving influence behind the sales of these body-affecting substances; since nowadays the said monopolistic enterprise largely caters only to the commercial interests of its sponsors and financiers. A large number of people (particularly young adults) seem to subconsciously internalize many of the subtle promotional messaging conveyed through this agenda-laden behemoth – a subliminal and psychologically transformative process that is strategically designed to alter their consumption patterns (of all manufactured goods), and to achieve as large a number of successful lead conversions as possible.

It is often saddening to note that most of these products cannot be considered as necessities (required for survival purposes) by any rational authority; with the only ‘justifications’ that warrant their purchase seen to be arising from the already questionable lap of popular culture.

The ‘Pop Cultural’ Impact on the Social Edifice

In today’s world, not a day seems to go by when we don’t appear to be bombarded by a slew of media advertisements that encourage us to purchase a skin-bleaching product, or an erectile-dysfunction panacea, or a growth-hormone concoction designed to stimulate rapid osteoblast division (resulting in bone growth, and therefore, increased height). Whether these active preparations actually work or not (and provide some alleviation of the health conditions for which they are bought) doesn’t really matter; the media machinery sees to it that in the minds of the gullible public, they do wield a certain effective potency.

In a nutshell, this observable principle perfectly describes the synthetically-engineered ‘Pop Cultural’ impact of the media onto social convention. Many hit soap operas and Hollywood blockbusters (to name some of the most thriving forms of digital entertainment enjoyed by a great number of people on a daily basis) feature plot-instances in which certain story characters are practically made to binge on shady varieties of health supplements and pills; with their portraying this exercise as something which one ‘usually does’ in the face of life’s trying scenarios. In many ways, this is similar to the marketing mechanism by which the illicit drug trade functions.

Several popular supplements brands (though their nutritional products do indeed yield some of the purported health benefits advertised flamboyantly on their packaging covers) invest millions of dollars into the media ‘kitty bank’, so as to skew and/or produce scripts that would further their commercial interests. A few companies like Vitamin World, however, and as a pivotal part of their CSR initiatives from Spectrum Triple Play, take great pains to only publicize those product claims that can be vigorously backed-up by rigorous scientific/laboratory certifications, and large-scale population studies.

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